Monday, August 17, 2020

Newly Arrived HSU Student Tests Positive for COVID

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 4:57 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt State University - FILE
  • Humboldt State University - FILE
Within days of moving onto campus, one student has test positive for COVID-19, the Humboldt State University reports. 

“The student is asymptomatic and has been moved to a room on campus that was set aside for isolation,” a news release states. “The university will be conducting frequent health and wellness checks with the student, as well as providing meal delivery and other necessities. Our campus community knows this is a challenging situation for this student and offers sincere best wishes for a quick recovery.”

More than 200 HSU students moved into on-campus housing Saturday — with another 600 or so expected to be in place by this week — over the objections of the county’s public health officer.

HSU stated in a release that all those living on campus will be expected to self-quarantine for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns and that students would be tested for COVID-19 multiple times. This positive case was part of the first 100 tests.

The HSU release states that the campus is "is working closely with Humboldt County Public Health, which will determine whether there are members of the campus community that need to be advised of their contact with this individual."

A series of emails released last week in response to a Journal request under the California Public Records Act show that County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich had urged the university to wait until October to bring those students back, a delay she hoped would allow Public Health to increased local testing capacity.

Read more about the email exchanges between Frankovich and HSU President Tom Jackson Jr. here.

Read the full HSU release below:
HSU Has First COVID-19 Case Based on the results of ongoing testing on campus, public health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 that has affected a member of the Humboldt State University community. This is the first confirmed case connected to the campus.

The individual who tested positive is a student who recently moved into campus housing. The student is asymptomatic and has been moved to a room on campus that was set aside for isolation. The University will be conducting frequent health and wellness checks with the student, as well as providing meal delivery and other necessities.

Our campus community knows this is a challenging situation for this student and offers sincere best wishes for a quick recovery. Based on its policies and protocols, the University is protecting the privacy rights of the student while also working to share information necessary to protect the health of the campus and the broader community.

HSU is working closely with Humboldt County Public Health, which will determine whether there are members of the campus community that need to be advised of their contact with this individual.

Comprehensive testing is continuing for all students living on campus this year, and is credited with identifying this case among the first 100 of the resident tests that have been analyzed. Campus residents will be tested three times during the course of a 14-day quarantine period.

This level of testing was implemented late last week with the help of additional resources that the state provided to the county. In addition to the required testing for students living on campus, all other HSU students may opt to be tested at the Student Health Center and all students showing symptoms will be tested. All student-athletes are also being tested periodically.

This advisory provides all the information the University will share about the case. Going forward, the University will provide information about any new cases by the end of each day.

Guidelines and Support
The campus community is encouraged to stay safe and healthy, and to help protect the health of the community, by adhering to the Social Responsibility Commitment. This includes wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing, and staying at home if you are sick or have a fever. The ongoing challenges of the pandemic can lead to increased stress and anxiety.

Any students who would like to talk with a counselor can contact Counseling & Psychological Services at 707.826.3236. Staff or faculty needing additional support may call the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358. For more information about COVID-19, visit the California Department of Public Health website. For more information about HSU’s plans for the fall semester, visit the HSU Campus Ready website.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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